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Alida Valli (1921-2006)

  1. Lana Turner, The Three Musketeers, 1947.      While Lana was suspended for refusing Lady de  Winter, MGM began talks with the Italian  actress contracted to Gone With The Wind  producer David O Selznick. Turner threw in the towel and Her Ladyship was described by the New York Times as a "company-mannered Mae West - more glittering swordplay, more dazzling costumes, more colors or more of Miss Turner's chest have never been seen in a picture than are shown in this one."
  2. Hedy Lamarr,  Samson and Delilah, 1949.     Valli has just begun her Hollywood moment with Hitchcock's Paradine Case. There was no need  in town  for another Ingrid Bergman.
  3. Dorothy Lamour, The Greatest Show on Earth, 1951.     Three years before CB De Mille made his old dream of a circus film (and inspired a six-year-old Phoenix kid named Spielberg to make movies),  the Gone With The Wind producer David O Selznick planned risking $6m on a big top number named after the slogan of the Ringling Bros circus. The DOS line-up would have featured Joseph Cotten, Jennifer Jones, Louis Jourdan, Dorothy McGuire, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, Shirley Temple and  Alida Valli - known as  just Valli, at the time.  Obviously the DeMille epic had a different script, but it’s safe to surmise  that the characters would have been much the same… trapeze stars, lion-tamer, elephant girl, circus boss.
  4. Danielle  Darrieux,  Five Fingers,  1952.    Producer David Selznick's latest “new Garbo” from Italy never fared well  in Hollywood.  Once working in Paris,  she claimed she was scared of flying -  Alida means "flies like a bird" - and could not get to Fox in  time. Darrieux flew, instead, to be master spy James Mason's countess
  5. Morgana  King,The Godfather, 1971.

 






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